If you want to see Toronto Blue Jays first-round draft pick Alek Manoah pitch for the Vancouver Canadians we suggest being punctual for his starts at Nat Bailey Stadium because the big right-hander won’t be out there for long.History says that the Blue Jays are going to be extremely careful with Manoah, 21, the 11th overall choice in June’s amateur draft who received a US$4.54 million signing bonus from the club. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound hurler made his pro debut with Vancouver on Saturday in Spokane and was on the mound for one inning and threw just 15 pitches to the four batters he faced.Vancouver is Toronto’s short-season, single-A affiliate. Pitch counts are standard at this level — there’s been one complete game thrown in the eight-team Northwest League since the start of the 2016 season — but they’re particularly prevalent for the likes of Manoah, a high-end draft choice who has already put up 108 1/3 innings this year in NCAA competition with West Virginia.
West Virginia pitcher Alek Manoah throws against Texas during an NCAA college baseball game Friday, April 26, 2019, in Austin, Texas.Manoah used to go to bed each night thinking about how it would feel to hear his name called at the MLB draft.
Nick Wagner /
The Associated Press
For instance, right-hander Nate Pearson was the 28th overall selection in the 2017 draft by the Blue Jays and received a US$2.45 million bonus. He had pitched 81 innings already that year with Central Florida Junior College. He debuted with Vancouver on July 23, and went just 19 innings spread over seven starts in the regular season.Pearson did go four innings in both of his two playoff starts, helping Vancouver win the Northwest League championship along the way.Seventeen pitchers on the C’s that season threw more innings in the regular season than Pearson and five of them did it with 12 or fewer appearances.